Learning about the US patent application process


These lectures provide an introduction to and survey of the US patent application process.


Audio Lecture Series — The US Patent Application Process

  • Fourteen lectures, each about one-half hour in length
  • Format: MP3 on a USB flash drive
  • Fifteen-page study guide (PDF)
  • Recorded live before an audience of law students in the Spring of 2009.

You can listen to a sample lecture here:


Or you can download the sample lecture here (you may wish to right-click on the link).

These lectures provide an introduction to and survey of the US patent application process. Topics discussed include:

  • parts of a patent application
  • minimum requirements to obtain a filing date
  • why we care about our filing date
  • ways of filing patent applications
  • the significance of “counts” within the USPTO
  • docketing steps relating to the filing of a patent application
  • requests not to publish a patent application
  • small entity status
  • oath or declaration of inventorship
  • application data sheets
  • assignments
  • powers of attorney
  • customer numbers
  • Public PAIR and Private PAIR
  • restriction requirements and traversal
  • the substantive examination process
  • provisional patent applications
  • divisional applications and continuations
  • claiming the benefit of earlier patent applications, domestic and foreign
  • requests for continued examination
  • the appeal process
  • petitions to revive

Throughout the lectures, Professor Oppedahl describes Best Practices to be followed by patent applicants at various points in the application process.

Who should listen to these lectures? You should listen to these lectures if:

  • you are a lawyer or law student who is just learning about the patent process
  • you are a secretary or administrative assistant or paralegal who is just learning about the patent process
  • if you are starting your training to be a patent docket clerk in a law firm or corporate legal department
  • if you are an in-house general counsel supervising outside patent firms

The only person who would not benefit from these lectures is a person who is already very familiar with the entire US patent application process.

Are you an attorney who has hired a new attorney or a new administrative assistant, paralegal, or secretary? If so, ask yourself what your lost billings would be if you were to spend seven hours explaining the US patent process to this new person. Maybe you would be money ahead to purchase this lecture series for this new person!

About the lecturer

Your lecturer is Professor Carl OppedahlProf. Carl Oppedahl Professor Oppedahl is the founder of the Oppedahl Patent Law Firm, and has been practicing intellectual property law for over two decades. His firm has obtained many hundreds of US patents for clients of the firm. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Grinnell College, and received his JD from Harvard Law School. Professor Oppedahl has served as the chair of the Patent Cooperation Treaty Issues committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and as the chair of the Electronic Business committee of that association. He is admitted to practice before the USPTO and before many courts including the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the US Supreme Court. Professor Oppedahl teaches Advanced Patent Law as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver School of Law.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Does this lecture series prepare me for the USPTO patent bar exam (“agent’s exam”)? No, this lecture series will not come even remotely close to preparing you for the patent bar exam. Passing the patent bar exam requires far more than passively listening to a mere fourteen hours of lectures. It requires working old exams, preparing and reviewing flash cards, and detailed study of the minutiae of the patent law and rules. For someone who is just starting the process of studying for the patent bar exam, this lecture series will, however, provide a very helpful survey of some of the topics that you will need to study and master.
  • I’m an attorney and I took a patent law course in law school. Why should I listen to these lectures? Law school patent courses vary from one law school to the next, but many law school patent courses focus more on legal principles and theories of patent law than on the nuts and bolts of the day-to-day patent application process. If you have not been exposed in detail to the nuts and bolts of day-to-day patent prosecution, then this lecture series is for you.
  • I’m an attorney. I assume that when I start my job at my law firm or corporation, there will be non-attorney staff will attend to all day-to-day tasks and I will never need to know about these things. Isn’t this lecture series really for non-attorneys? Think about it. As an attorney, you have ultimately responsible for all of the work done by non-attorneys under your supervision. To competently supervise the work of your staff, you should know everything about the day-to-day things that your staff are supposed to know. If you have not been exposed in detail to the nuts and bolts of day-to-day patent prosecution, then this lecture series is for you.
  • What are the license terms for the download of this lecture series? You are permitted to use the MP3 files the same way you would use a physical book. Just as you can read a book, and then pass it along to a single other person, so you may pass along these MP3 files to someone else. But you may not pass along these MP3 files to two other people, any more than you could give a single book to two people. If you pass along these MP3 files to someone else, you may not retain a copy, any more than you could give a book to someone and still keep a copy of the book. You must not post these MP3 files on a server where multiple people can make copies of the files.

Additional information

Weight 8 oz